Category Archives: cliffe woods
Many of us remember the No Airport at Cliffe campaign and how the Hoo Peninsula came together ten years ago to defeat the then government’s ‘Cliffe’ airport plan. There is no similar proposal from the government this time. However, an independent commission has been set up, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, to look at aviation capacity in the South-East.
Various people have suggested building an airport in the Thames Estuary area. The Mayor of London initially proposed an artificial ‘Boris’ Island north of the Isle of Sheppey, while architects Foster + Partners have proposed building over the north-east of the Hoo Peninsula and reclaimed land beyond.
None of these proposals appear credible to me. Cost estimates range from £70 billion to over £100 billion, around £50 per plane ticket. It is not clear why anyone would want to pay for this, when it would be so much cheaper to expand existing airports. Does the Mayor of London want to close Heathrow and move its 75,000 directly employed staff and 40,000 ancillary staff to Medway, or keep it open, with British Airways and other airlines saying that they would then refuse to move.
The Davies Commission will look at all the arguments and produce an interim report in late 2013 and a final report in 2015. These will not bind government but I would ask you to sign our petition and contact the Davies Commission to expose the weakness of arguments for a Thames Estuary airport.
Even Boris has now said that his desired new hub airport could instead be at Stansted. If £5 billion were spent on a Crossrail spur from Stansted to Stratford this would link Stansted to the City in 25 minutes, the West End (or Ebbsfleet) in 35 minutes and Heathrow in less than an hour. Gatwick are also now pushing to have a second runway.
We should use this opportunity with the Davies Commission to rule out environmentally devastating proposals for a Thames Estuary Airport once and for all.
Mark Reckless MP and volunteers from across the community will be visiting households across the Hoo Peninsula asking residents to sign his Parliamentary petition against the airport. You can show your support for the No Estuary Airport campaign now by completing the online petition form – click here.
The Countryside Alliance Awards, nicknamed the ‘Rural Oscars’, were borne of a need to support and promote rural communities. They celebrate people going the extra mile to ensure that rural Britain’s food and farming industry, small businesses, traditional skills, forward-thinking enterprises and, most of all, its people, can flourish.
Mark Reckless MP commented:
“These Awards are an excellent way to promote the local businessmen and women who are working hard to keep rural Britain ticking. Our local produce is second to none and there are many community heroes and businesses worthy of national recognition, so please get involved and nominate today. Let’s see if we can bring a British title home and tell a positive story about Rochester and Strood.”
The Awards run across the following categories:
- Local food Award
- Daily Telegraph Village shop/Post Office award
- Enterprise Award
- Butcher Award
- Start-up Award *New* for 2012 – for businesses who have been trading less than 18 months.
Nomination are open online at www.countrysideallianceawards.org.uk until 29th October 2012.
Rochester and Strood MP Mark Reckless has nominated Cliffe Spice, based in Cliffe Woods, for this year’s Tiffin Cup.
Following the success of the Tiffin Cup 2011, MPs have for the 7th year running, been asked to nominate a restaurant in their constituency to be in the running for the best South Asian restaurant in the UK. Last year sixty two restaurants were nominated from around the country and this time it is hoped to build upon the popularity of this mouth-watering competition, encouraging the participation of as many constituencies as possible. The competition offers the opportunity to celebrate the diversity of British culture and recognises the importance of South Asian cuisine.
The Tiffin Cup is awarded every year by the Tiffin Club of MPs, formed in 2006 by former MP John Barrett, Michael Fabricant MP and Keith Vaz MP. The aim is not only to applaud the quality of South Asian food in Britain but also to raise much needed money for charity. This year the competition is in aid of the charity ‘World Vision’.
Cliffe Spice, having now won a place in the regional final will battle it out with other restaurants from the same region to become one the national finalists in the prestigious Tiffin Cup 2012 Grand Final.
Cliffe Spice owner Sheikh Islam, who is hoping to build on the restaurant’s success as a previous winner of the Medway Curry Awards and a finalist in the national British Curry Awards, responded to the nomination by saying:
“I am really pleased to have received this nomination. It’s good to be recognised for all the hard work we do. This will really put Cliffe Woods on the culinary map.”
Mark Reckless MP said:
“I was delighted to nominate Cliffe Spice and I hope it will be chosen to represent our region in the Grand Final of such a prestigious award. The food is always great, and the ambience of the restaurant is good with attentive and friendly staff.
I hope everyone in Rochester and Strood will join me in supporting our restaurant.”
Mr Vaz added:
“After the overwhelming success of last year’s competition we are looking forward to another chance to sample some of the best offerings of Indian food in Britain. At the same time we also hope to encourage some healthy competition amongst MPs from all parties, all while raising money for a worthy charity.”
Cliffe Woods Primary School has officially become Medway’s first new-style academy.
Cliffe Woods Primary School, which has been one of Medway’s top performing schools, is the first Primary School in Medway to break away from local authority control and become a publicly funded independent school.
It comes after the coalition Government announced last summer that academy freedoms would be extended to the country’s best performing schools.
The school became an academy on July 1 and was personally visited on this date by the local MP – Mark Reckless.
Mark Reckless said:
“I was absolutely delighted to visit Cliffe Woods Primary School on its first official day as an Academy. Cliffe Woods has consistently been one of Medway’s top performing primary schools and will now benefit from increased funding and the freedom and flexibility that Academy status brings.
I was really impressed by my tour of the school. It was fantastic to see how the pupils and teachers are working together to reach high levels of personal achievement. I am really pleased for all the children attending Cliffe Woods Primary School who are being given the best opportunity to excel academically.
I would like to congratulate the Principal at Cliffe Woods Primary School, Mr Tim Watson, on the school’s continuing success, and for his hard work in securing Academy status. This will allow the school to manage its own budget and set its own priorities away from the National Curriculum. I would also like to congratulate all the teachers and staff for providing such a stimulating and welcoming environment for the local children who attend.
Well done to all concerned!”
The Principal – Tim Watson said:
“The conversion will have a positive impact on the service and provision that we provide for our pupils. It will allow the school more flexibility in the delivery of the curriculum and the organisation of resources, which in turn will allow us to tailor teaching and learning more appropriately to the needs of the pupils in the school.”
Under the previous Labour Government, only poorly performing schools could apply to become academies which were “run” by outside sponsors in a bid to raise standards.
But under the new coalition Government good and outstanding schools can apply for academy status. New style academies do not need outside sponsors but have been judged able to govern themselves.
Principal Tim Watson said:
“We are all excited about becoming an academy. This change is about doing what is best for our children, staff and community. It has given us the freedoms and flexibilities to continue to raise standards even higher.”
Cliffe Woods Primary School has been consistently one of Medway’s top performing schools over the past few years and last year was top of the league tables for children achieving the expected level in both English and Mathematics.
Although Cliffe Woods is the first Primary in Medway to take up Academy Status, other top Medway schools also now enjoy new academy freedoms, such as Rochester Grammar for Girls and Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School.